Originally constructed for a friend, this project evolved into so much more. I was commissioned to create an atmosphere where players could easily become engrossed in a story put on by the map and assisted by events. I chose to create an underground level set after a post-apocalyptic event happened on the surface causing the survivors to flee underground. Each of the buildings on this map has functioning lights, doors, hidden passage ways, and halls. These aren’t just paper houses, they have depth, character, functions that the players will be able to use for their roleplaying. Each one tells a story of a civilization on the verge of starvation, a sad, dark, miserable place where survival is an everyday goal and people are constantly in search of a get away from the ever imposing government.
The game was unfortunately scrapped, however, alot of time went into this map and alot of lessons were learned. I was able to learn Source SDK’s Hammer and learn the fundamentals to brush based geometry and level design. Compared to creating a map using prebuilt props, brush based design is bulky, and unwieldy at times. It creates circumstances where you must work around the naturally boxy geometry and create tricks to make it look better. The trick to doing so is effective usage of props and lighting. With clever lighting, the hard corners can be made to look softer and ignored, with props, they can be covered up. Thankfully, Valve has a huge index of props, textures, and effects that were at my disposal. Decals were certainly another way of breaking up these shapes. They were able to effectively cover up parts and break up the repetition of the basic textures.